Edit
Patti LuPone Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (23) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 21 April 1949Northport, Long Island, New York, USA
Birth NamePatti Ann LuPone
Height 5' 2" (1.57 m)

Mini Bio (1)

A fireball of talent and a musical force to be reckoned with, singer/actress Patti LuPone was born on April 21, 1949 on Long Island, New York of Italian heritage. Her parents, Orlando LuPone, a school administrator, and mother Angela, a librarian, eventually divorced. She was christened Patti in honor of her great-grand-aunt, the renowned 19th-century opera singer Adelina Patti. Trained in dance, her early days as a teen were spent as part of a 60s sibling group called "The Lupone Trio," which was comprised of Patti and older twin brothers William and Robert LuPone, the latter moving on to a daunting career of his own. A graduate of Northport High School, she attended the Drama Division of The Juilliard School and became part of its first graduating class, which also included future stars Kevin Kline and David Ogden Stiers.

In 1972 the legendary John Houseman reshaped said graduating class and formed The Acting Company, which earned a strong reputation on tour as a classical repertory group. Gaining invaluable acting experience, she stayed with the company until 1975. Making her NY theater debut in "The School for Scandal" (1972), she went on to play major roles in "The Hostage," "The Lower Depths," "The Three Sisters" (her Broadway debut), "Measure for Measure," "Scapin," "Edward II," and "The Time of Your Life," among others. However, it was in musicals that she would reign supreme. She played Lucy in a version of "The Beggar's Opera" (1973) and went on to earn distinction in "The Robber Bridegroom" (Tony nomination) (1975), "The Baker's Wife" (1976) and "Working" (1978). Her incredible pipes and assured countenance eventually earned her the role of a lifetime with "Evita" (1979). As Argentina's calculating and beloved Eva Peron, Patti grabbed the international spotlight with a rare dramatic fury and brilliance. Her electrifying performance earned her both the Tony and Drama Desk awards, and the resulting stardom officially launched her film and TV career.

Minor roles in King of the Gypsies (1978) and 1941 (1979) led to a co-starring role with Tom Skerritt in the vigilante crimer Fighting Back (1982). Continuing to show off her singing prowess, she originated the role of Fantine in the London production of "Les Misérables" and became the first American to win the prestigious Olivier Award (for her work in both "Les Miz" and "The Cradle Will Rock") in 1985. She nabbed a second Drama Desk Award and another Tony nomination for her Reno Sweeney in "Anything Goes" (1987).

Twice nominated for Emmy awards on TV, she impressed as Lady Bird opposite Randy Quaid's President Lyndon Baines Johnson in the mini-movie LBJ: The Early Years (1987) and scored a resounding hit on the dramatic series Life Goes On (1989) as Libby Thatcher, the loving, protective mother of a son (played by Chris Burke) afflicted with Down Syndrome. This groundbreaking program was the first of its kind to center its theme around a mentally handicapped character. The show ran a durable four seasons and its title song, "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La Da" by Lennon/McCartney, featured Patti's vocals. A round of guest shots over the years have included "Law & Order," "Frazier," "Touched by an Angel," "Will & Grace" (hilariously spoofing her diva image), and a recurring spot on the critically-acclaimed "Oz." On film she was well represented by Witness (1985) and in Driving Miss Daisy (1989) as Dan Aykroyd's materialistic wife and minor nemesis to Jessica Tandy.

The concert stage has been a commanding venue for Patti over the years with a number of successful one-woman singing showcases such as "The Lady with the Torch," "Matters of the Heart" and "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda," winning an Outer Critics Circle Award for her "Patti Lupone on Broadway" in 1995. Stage concert versions of "Pal Joey," "Passion," "A Little Night Music," "Can-Can" and "Candide" have greatly added to her enduring popularity, in addition to her three solo evenings at Carnegie Hall. Powerhouse leads in "Sunset Boulevard" (1993) and "Master Class" (1996) have ensured her diva-like place as one of America's contemporary singing immortals. She earned another Tony nomination more recently for her inventive spin on the monstrous Mrs. Lovett in "Sweeney Todd" (2005). Married since 1988 to camera operator Matthew Johnston, they have one son, Josh, who appeared in a small role in Patti's concert version of "Passion."

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Matthew Johnston (12 December 1988 - present) (1 child)

Trivia (23)

Younger sister of actor Robert LuPone
Awarded Tony for 'Evita'.
The name "Patti" is not shortened from or derived from Patricia, but rather from Ms. LuPone's mother's maiden name, which was "Patti".
Ms. LuPone volunteered at the Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) in Los Angeles (1999-2000)
Met husband Matthew Johnston in 1986 when both were working on the TV movie LBJ: The Early Years (1987). They married two years later on the stage of New York City's Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center while Patti was performing in "Anything Goes". Their son, Joshua Luke Johnston, was born on November 21, 1990.
Is the first American actress to win an Olivier award in England for her performances in "Les Misérables" and "The Cradle Will Rock" in 1985
In 1994 she had surgery to remove nodes from her vocal cords.
She was a member of the very first class of the drama division at Juilliard. Other classmates included Kevin Kline (with whom she had an eight-year relationship in the 70s), David Ogden Stiers, and her future "Evita" co-star Mandy Patinkin.
Performed as a teenager with her twin brothers William and Robert LuPone. They were billed as "The LuPone Trio."
Cousin of Oz (1997) creator Tom Fontana.
Is a frequent collaborator with David Mamet.
Won Broadway's 1980 Tony Award as Best Actress (Musical) for playing the title character, 'Eva Peron', in "Evita". She was also nominated as Best Actress (Featured Role - Musical) for "The Robber Bridegroom" in 1976 (a year that also saw her brother, Robert LuPone, earning a Tony nomination), and as Best Actress (Musical) for a revival of "Anything Goes" in 1988.
Has recorded several solo discs including Patti LuPone Live!, Heatwave, Matters of the Heart, and the future release The Lady With a Torch. Patti can also be heard on other recordings such as Philadelphia Chickens, Grateful, Hey! Mr. Producer, Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall, and The Family Guy Live in Vegas.
Has one son, Joshua Luke Johnston, born November 21, 1990.
Graduated from Juilliard's drama division
Won a Tony for Best Actress in a Musical for "Gypsy" in 2007.
Was nominated for a Tony as Best Actress in a Musical for "Sweeney Todd" in 2006.
Performing "The Lady With the Torch" at Feinstein's at The Regency, New York City, conceived and directed by Scott Wittman, accompanied by Chris Fenwick, pianist. [November 2004]
Playing Mama Rose in the 2008 Broadway revival of "Gypsy". [March 2008]
Starring on Broadway as "Mrs. Lovett" in John Doyle's revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street". [November 2005]
Receiving critical and popular acclaim for her extraordinary portrayal of Rose in the quintessential Broadway musical "Gypsy," directed by the author, Arthur Laurents, at New York's City Center, the premiere engagement of Encores! Summer Stars. [July 2007]
Performing around the country in her one-woman shows "Matters of the Heart" and "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda." [April 2003]
Starring as "Fosca" in the PBS broadcast of Stephen Sondheim's Live from Lincoln Center: Passion (2005). [April 2005]

Personal Quotes (5)

The audiences that inspire me are the ones that are not asleep.
I knew before I knew anything else that my career was in Europe. I wanted a career there. I've always thought that was who I am and that what I look like belongs in Italy. I made a film there and I looked around and thought, 'God, I'm a beauty here. I mean, I'm really gorgeous here.'
For a long time, I don't think people thought I was capable of comedy. I mean, I'm Italian, so crying has always been easy for me - our emotions are just underneath the skin. But I've always had a black sense of humor, and I've always been able to find humor in any situation.
I'm totally Italian, and it's a big personality. But I'm not a diva. If you could see the way I'm dressed in daily life, that's not a diva. Appearances are so not important to me.
I'm fairly tough on anybody who isn't there for the play. I'm very tough on people who are in it for the wrong reason. I'm very tough on people who don't remember that there's an audience out there paying a lot of money. The bottom line is that I love the theater. I realized when I came back [after an absence in L.A.] and put my foot on the boards, this is where I belong.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page